Diabetes and High Blood Pressure: What Can You Eat?
If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, it’s important that you add foods low in sodium to your diet, such as vegetables and fruits.
Many people suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, so they might think it’s too hard to follow a diet that excludes salt and sugar. However, it’s possible to do so and still enjoy yummy foods. Many times, the key is knowing how to enjoy them.
For example, you can eat carrots, but preferably raw, since, when they’re cooked, they tend to be rich in glucose.
It’s possible to eat a healthy diet for the needs of both conditions, without depriving yourself of yummy foods. Here, we tell you what you can eat if you suffer from diabetes and hypertension. Take note!
It’s very important that you respect the recommendations of your doctor concerning what you can and can’t eat, or what foods you should reduce and avoid.
Aside from what you eat, there are certain habits that can make the difference between leading a healthy life or one where your diabetes and high blood pressure symptoms don’t allow you to perform your daily activities.
Here are some recommendations you should remember. In addition, when it comes to making a diet plan, you should do so with a nutritionist and your doctor. You should also consider the following:
- Avoid bad lifestyle habits, like being sedentary, drinking alcohol, and smoking.
- You shouldn’t drink alcohol because of its high sugar content.
- Don’t consume processed foods (in big amounts or regularly), those soaked in brine, or smoked meats.
- Reduce the amount of salt in your meals and avoid putting salt on the table. Instead, use herbs like oregano and rosemary to season your dishes.
- Drink water throughout the day, whenever you’re thirsty. Hydration is key to well-being.
- Measure your glucose and blood pressure at the same time every day (for example, after breakfast, before lunch, or after a nap).
In general, it’s fundamental for your to be disciplined and coherent when it comes to following good lifestyle habits.
Because both of these disorders can appear together but at different times, it’s a good idea to get used to eating a balanced diet.
If you suffer from both diabetes and high blood pressure, you’ll need to be careful with which foods and drinks you choose but even more so with the amount. As a general rule, your diet should be characterized by being low in sodium, fats, and carbohydrates. As for the foods that you should never forget, they are:
Foods that are rich in soluble fiber
These keep fat levels stable and can be used as substitutes for salt. At the same time, the fiber helps to prevent constipation and to balance your blood pressure.
Some of the foods that can contribute lots of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (recommended for people with diabetes and high blood pressure) are:
- Flaxseed oil.
- Whole grain cereals.
- Dried peas and beans.
A good diet always contains vegetables, especially if you have diabetes and high blood pressure. So, you’ll need to cook them without salt (or with very low amounts) and avoid frying them. They’re best raw, steamed, or baked, and seasoned with herbs and spices.
There’s a common misconception that diabetics can’t eat fruit because it’s sweet. Instead of avoiding them, diabetics should consume them to supplement their diet in a healthy way.
Nutritionist Julio Basulto points out that fresh, whole fruits are recommended for diabetics, because they contain numerous nutrients that contribute to overall health. And contrary to popular belief, they don’t affect blood sugar levels or promote excess weight.
“Except for a few pathologies, such as food hypersensitivity or kidney disease, among others […] the unanimous message that the population should receive regarding whole fruit is: try to consume at least three servings a day.”
On the other hand, Dr. Manuel Viso states that fruits (whole) can be consumed at any time of the day. They aren’t fattening because they don’t have free sugars and they can provide multiple benefits because they’re rich in various nutrients. In addition, they contain fiber and promote intestinal transit.
Eating fish three times a week is good for your health, so it’s perfect for people with diabetes and high blood pressure. In fact, the best ones are cold water or oily fish because they provide omega-3 fatty acids that reduce heart problems and provide vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They’re recommended for all your cells and organs to keep them in good condition. Among the best are:
Low-fat dairy products
Although there are discrepancies regarding this point, it’s generally said that low-fat dairy products are good sources of calcium and, as they don’t contain as much fat as whole dairy products, they help control blood sugar. Therefore, don’t hesitate to consume low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter.
You have to watch out for ready-to-eat and frozen foods, as most of them contain a lot of salt. In addition, you should pay attention to foods that are low in sugar because they may contain a lot of sodium (like some oat flakes for breakfast, for example).
Pay close attention when you’re out buying foods and read the nutritional labels on everything you choose. At first, it’ll take time, but then you’ll know what you should and shouldn’t eat. For starters, buy more from the fruits and vegetables section than any other and it’ll be easier for you to pick healthy foods.
Don’t forget that, in addition to eating healthy foods, you need to exercise three times a week. Without having to perform very difficult or intense exercise, set aside your sedentary lifestyle and bad habits if you want to live well despite having diabetes and high blood pressure.
Finally, comply with all the recommendations your doctor (or your nutritionist) has given you. Ask them any questions you have, even the ones that you think might be obvious. Keep a list of what you’re eating so your doctor can evaluate whether or not your diet is appropriate.